Posts byMaria Diaz Macias

I enjoy writing about environmental-related topics and politics.

COVID-19 Dispatch: Philip Lane Talks ECB’s Monetary Policy in Current Pandemic

On Wednesday 13th May 2020, Room for Discussion had the honour to interview Philip Lane, chief economist of the European Central Bank (ECB). Lane is seen by many to provide an academic counterweight to the traditional political abilities of ECB President, Christine Lagarde. In this Room for Discussion interview, Lane answered some questions on the

Economic Inequality in a Wealthier World

Economic inequality has increased in nearly all countries for the past decades. Institutions and policies do matter in preventing it.

As a record number of private jets landed in Davos in January 2019 for the World Economic Forum, non-profit Oxfam released its annual inequality statistics. The report stated that the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people making up the poorest half of the planet’s population. It added that, in

Channel Miller at Room for Discussion – Preview

It has been now over 5 years since the woman who became known as “Emily Doe” was sexually assaulted on the Stanford University Campus. Her new book reveals her real name.

The case of Chanel Miller (formerly known as Emily Doe) became famous in 2016 after BuzzFeed published the statement she read at the sentencing hearing for Brock Turner, the Stanford student convicted of the assault. Four years after the publication of the statement, Miller is ready to talk. In her memoir “Know My Name”, she

Can We Change the World? Demonstrations in 2019

Unprecedented Political Mobilization is Calling for a New Social Contract between Citizens and States.

2019 seems to have consolidated an unusual outpouring of widespread anger. In fact, not since the wave of “people power” movements in the late 1980s and 1990s has the world experienced such a wave of demonstrations. Algeria, Bolivia, Britain, India, Sudan, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, France, Guinea, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Pakistan – the

Tackling Fake News: A Battle of Economic Incentives and Disincentives

Often fuelled by the economic incentive of rising the most views and revenue, implementation of economic disincentives may not be a bad idea to regulate false information.

It is very likely that this is not the first article about fake news that you read. The phenomenon has become viral in the past years, and its consequences, from elections outcomes to fuelling propaganda and hateful speech, have been widely discussed. The concept of fake news – which means any information created to mislead

Is the Time for Nuclear Power Over?

An analysis of our use of nuclear power, and how this contrasts with our available renewable sources.

Nuclear power has generated a controversial debate. Proponents of this energy, such as the World Nuclear Association and Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy, contend that nuclear power is a safe, sustainable energy source that has the potential to reduce our carbon emissions. Opponents, such as Greenpeace and NIRS, argue that nuclear power poses many threats to

Astropreneurship – another Space Race?

How Astropreneurship is Shaping Worldwide Politics and the Role that Europe Plays in It

When the American Congress enacted the Commercial Space Launch Amendment Act in 2004, the world changed for many entrepreneurs. The act enabled private space exploration to become legal, in order to (as NASA wrote) “advance the commercial space sector”. By now, many companies have developed active space plans to either partner with NASA or establish themselves

The Challenge of the Diseases of Poverty

For the past decades, public health experts and economists have been warning of the large human toll and economic losses caused by diseases of poverty, especially malaria, dengue fever, and sleeping sickness. To tackle this, funding agencies, philanthropies, and pharmaceutical companies have greatly invested in research to find a solution. However, most of these diseases

A Nobel Prize to Climate Change

Last Monday 8th October, the prize in Economic Sciences was awarded. The winners? William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, for “integrating innovation and climate with economic growth” (as declared by the Royal Swedish Academy). The prize this year has been shared between the two American economists for bringing long-term thinking on climate issues and technological innovation

A Brief Introduction to Puigdemont and Catalonia’s Independence

Carles Puigdemont Journalist and politician, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó became president of the Government of Catalonia in 2016. His term was a relatively short one by leaving his charge in 2017, when he was dismissed by the Spanish Central Government after an unilateral declaration of Independence. Nowadays, he lives in Belgium, being sought by Spain

Populism: where does it come from, where does it lead us

We are living a paradox. On one hand, globalization is steadily increasing. Free trade, international agreements, technology development, they all contribute to this rapid growth which we are experiencing and which could get even stronger. Because of this growth, company “giants” such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, etc., have risen, increasing our living-standards significantly. As

China’s attempts to fight climate change

Industrialised China has faced pollution problems for several years. A wide variety of documentaries on the country’s pollution can be easily found online, and pretty much everyone has seen the shocking images of Beijing or other cities covered in smog. Nevertheless, things seem to be changing. How does China tackle pollution? About air pollution In

The Cost of What You Eat

Food (and land) security has become a major issue in the last years. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that one in nine people are chronically undernourished. With the world’s population expected to increase up to 9-11 billion by 2050, an urgent question has risen: how will we feed ourselves in the

Do animals have rights?

During this Christmas, I came to read a newspaper article that caught my attention: in Spain, my country of origin, pets are no longer going to be personal custodies as of December 2017. This means that in case of a divorce, agreements can be reached to share the custody and the costs of pets between